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  • Topic: Functional Power Poles Indoors?

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    • March 24, 2019 1:34 PM EDT
      • Rio Linda, Cal.
         
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      David Palmeter said:

      In order to get more operating time, and to give my old bones a break (metaphorically speaking), I am building a modest size indoor 1:24 scale layout. I considered functional power poles on my outdoor layout but the hazards of maintaining them on a ground level layout were obvious. Indoors, however, with no critters of the four-legged or grandkid kinds wandering around on the layout, it seems a better idea for lighting up my structures and lineside equipment. A huge bonus is not having to fold my creaky old joints to crawl around under the layout. I found some pictures of HO power poles connected to buildings, nothing in 1:24 scale and nobody who mentioned actually making them electrically functional. They are everything from simple poles to works of art:

      Has anyone installed power poles on your layout? Have you made them electrically functional? Any thoughts on the idea?

      Thanks!1

      ...........................................

      Sorry for somehow made a dub post?? 

       

      This post was edited by Noel Wilson at March 24, 2019 2:18 PM EDT
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      Little Rio feather says...One leave train running here and takes a coffee break, may find Koi fishes checking out how deep an Engine can swim when the Swing Bridge is left open. It happen to Big Feather Tweedledum.... Burnt finger Nbr. SA#49
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    • March 24, 2019 1:34 PM EDT
      • Rio Linda, Cal.
         
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      David Palmeter said:

      In order to get more operating time, and to give my old bones a break (metaphorically speaking), I am building a modest size indoor 1:24 scale layout. I considered functional power poles on my outdoor layout but the hazards of maintaining them on a ground level layout were obvious. Indoors, however, with no critters of the four-legged or grandkid kinds wandering around on the layout, it seems a better idea for lighting up my structures and lineside equipment. A huge bonus is not having to fold my creaky old joints to crawl around under the layout. I found some pictures of HO power poles connected to buildings, nothing in 1:24 scale and nobody who mentioned actually making them electrically functional. They are everything from simple poles to works of art:

      Has anyone installed power poles on your layout? Have you made them electrically functional? Any thoughts on the idea?

      Thanks!

      ...........................................

      David P.   We have used your idea for years but then we are from the old school.

      We have a large Ho layout that like you got tired of going under the layout to fix a problem on the Building lights and wanted to have our towns light up in difference area and not all at once when turned on for night runs.  So we ran overhead wires on poles and off of them to each building like in real life.  Wire we used on most of the poles was from tele wires that use to see running around your house from your tel ph. co.  we just strip them down and paint them black after we solder on connection to the building wires. Add a few dummy plastic transformer to make the poles look real.  Each area is run off of a buss wire so no lose of power to our Grain of wheat bulbs or LED's if used.

      Do to that idea we also use the same  over head power poles to our Garden R.R.  "We are using same wire as Ho on tel. ph. striped down and painted."  Divided up in to areas under ground and hide power to a pole to that area off of under ground Romex 14/2wG. All Ho and Garden R.R. lighting are from usually a Malibu Sys. that is 14v or 18 v. A/c for power.

      The trolley overhead line has stainless steel wire and only use for trolley lighting.  Trolley are powered off of USA GP-9 Motor block being they have pick up slider for better track power.  

      So ya... we are from the old school and over head poles wiring look more real on any layout.  Hope this help as we are using a lot of light in our layouts and slowly change over to LED's as we go. You can see a lot of our set up on lights and poles in our videos. 

       

      This is Wilsonville and is only one town being power off of a buss.  Think there is 40 some light here. 

      The Garden Layout has 5 Malibu A/C transformer for the 7 areas.

       

       

       

      Ho layout has one 18V. at 10 amps. and runs off of timers and tied in to overhead 24/1 room clock timer for lighting of building. That way building lights come on as it go in to sun down or off in section as back to day light.

       

      David P. Let us know how you come out . Like to see more what you come up with. Great photos you have.

      This post was edited by Noel Wilson at April 18, 2019 10:50 PM EDT
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      Little Rio feather says...One leave train running here and takes a coffee break, may find Koi fishes checking out how deep an Engine can swim when the Swing Bridge is left open. It happen to Big Feather Tweedledum.... Burnt finger Nbr. SA#49
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    • March 24, 2019 8:11 PM EDT
      • Noblesville, Indiana
         
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      Thanks, Forrest, some interesting ideas for my project. Hope you have a chance to get it running, very well done so far!

      Tramcar Trev is an interesting character, Ross. Might peruse a bit deeper to look for ideas there, too. Thanks.

    • March 25, 2019 7:00 AM EDT
      • KENILWORTH, WARWICKSHIRE UK. (Just up the road from Stratford-Upon-Avon)
         
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      Have a look here...Trev sprinkled posts all over the net (in some very odd places)..he had "catholic" tastes when it came to hobbies.....

      What Trev did not know about Australian tramcars was amazing.  A walking encylopedia....when his legs allowed him. 

       (He once featured in gory detail, photos of  his knees that had been operated on and stapled up!)

       

      http://trevs-tramway.blogspot.com/

      This post was edited by Ross Mansell at March 25, 2019 7:06 AM EDT
    • March 25, 2019 1:37 PM EDT
      • Noblesville, Indiana
         
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      Thanks, Noel. Interesting to see that you can maintain an outdoor lighting system. Indoors should be a piece of cake, right? I like having lights come on at different times.

    • March 25, 2019 6:53 PM EDT
      • Rio Linda, Cal.
         
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      David Palmeter said:

      Thanks, Noel. Interesting to see that you can maintain an outdoor lighting system. Indoors should be a piece of cake, right? I like having lights come on at different times.

       

      Your welcome..   If interested, can give you some ideas on timers that are used on outside Air Cond.  They can works great on low voltage and i use them for lighting on Ho and Garden R.R.  Also, on overhead light inside using a home built wheel to run dimmer SW.    Old school ways.  lol.  Just E.mail is like. Noel

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      Little Rio feather says...One leave train running here and takes a coffee break, may find Koi fishes checking out how deep an Engine can swim when the Swing Bridge is left open. It happen to Big Feather Tweedledum.... Burnt finger Nbr. SA#49
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    • March 26, 2019 2:06 PM EDT
      • Noblesville, Indiana
         
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      Any help you can share would be appreciated, thanks!

       

      This post was edited by David Palmeter at March 26, 2019 2:06 PM EDT
    • April 1, 2019 10:00 AM EDT
      • Noblesville, Indiana
         
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      Another question for Forrest, Noel or anyone who has built G Scale power poles:

      How do you attach the cross bars to the poles to keep them from popping off if you bump the wires? There isn't much glue surface and pins or tiny brads would seem to be fragile. Use both?

    • April 1, 2019 12:04 PM EDT
      • Peoria, NW of Phoenix, Arizona
         
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      I would guess a small notch cut into the pole would increase the gluing surfaces enough to aid in keeping the crossbars attached, but unless they are 3d printed or molded in place that they will be susceptible to being knocked off. A .23 gauge pin nailer uses smaller nails than a brad , they might give more help without maybe splitting the pole or the crossbar.

       

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    • April 1, 2019 12:20 PM EDT
      • Easton , Massachusetts
         
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      Try a Image result for Dremel Grinding BitsDremel bit close to the uprights diameter to make a notch Image result for log with notch cut into a round item like Pete suggested .

      Image result for log with notch cut into a round item

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    • April 1, 2019 2:39 PM EDT
      • Rio Linda, Cal.
         
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      .  David Palmeter said:

      Another question for Forrest, Noel or anyone who has built G Scale power poles:

      How do you attach the cross bars to the poles to keep them from popping off if you bump the wires? There isn't much glue surface and pins or tiny brads would seem to be fragile. Use both?

      ..........................................................

      The poles we use are Chop sticks that are made out of Bamboo.  We drill out holes for some Brass nails then supper glue them in place. Brass nails are use for the cross bars to poles and insulators. Cut off the excess of the nail showing thru the bottom of the sq. cross bar of Bamboo.  The chop sticks are sq. on one have of the bamboo stick and round on other half.  Most Geo stores have them.  Same as our poles also are mostly Bamboo painted black..  Coat them with clear dull coat to keep them from the weather. A lot of our poles in the Garden R.R. are like they did in some of the old days with insulators ( Ours are brass nails painted Green.) mounted on the top side of the poles. On our cabins, we just run wires from pole to pole and make drops to cabin or building. Just have to watch for the wires when cleaning the layout.  I broke off few wires when cleaning places in the layout and had to do like they did in the old days , splice in new wires.  Lol.  Its very hard to break Bamboo chop sticks.

      Here is some photo, but maybe be hard to see the caross bars on the town building or in the layout going from pole to pole with cabin wire drops to poles. But. they are there.

       Our poles and wires are on the 10 foot rule. Not that fussy on some over size do to all works with hardly no upkeep for the distance we run. Sometime our cats may hit one or rub against one but easy to get dripping wires back with no problems

       

       

      This is what the Bamboo chop sticks look like and come in a package of usually 24. Shown is two difference types. Very had to break and great for out doors if you seal them.

      Some have been in for 10 years and looks fine so far.

       

      This post was edited by Noel Wilson at April 18, 2019 9:34 PM EDT
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      Little Rio feather says...One leave train running here and takes a coffee break, may find Koi fishes checking out how deep an Engine can swim when the Swing Bridge is left open. It happen to Big Feather Tweedledum.... Burnt finger Nbr. SA#49
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    • April 2, 2019 5:40 AM EDT
      • Bomaderry, NSW Australia
         
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      David Palmeter said:

      Another question for Forrest, Noel or anyone who has built G Scale power poles:

      How do you attach the cross bars to the poles to keep them from popping off if you bump the wires? There isn't much glue surface and pins or tiny brads would seem to be fragile. Use both?

      I hid my power pole by disguising them as my irrigation system or to be more accurate disguising the irrigation risers as power poles.  I used the 4mm risers for my sprayers as the poles and glued cross arms made of strip wood with a round groove in one side to increase the gluing area then "twitched" a thin piece of copper wire to add strength to the joint (when painted black the wire was virtually invisible).   This worked well for a few months till the lady of the house's feline decided to mark his territory by rubbing up to the cross-arms and snapping them off (moral of story do not get a cat).  The wires were strung and secured with brass dressmaking pins with a glass beads threaded over them and sealed with an poly urethane electronic conformal coating, they carried 5V to run some LEDs.

      With out the cat's intervention I think they would still be functional today 5 years later.

    • April 2, 2019 2:28 PM EDT
      • Noblesville, Indiana
         
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      Graeme Price said:
      David Palmeter said:

      Another question for Forrest, Noel or anyone who has built G Scale power poles:

      How do you attach the cross bars to the poles to keep them from popping off if you bump the wires? There isn't much glue surface and pins or tiny brads would seem to be fragile. Use both?

      I hid my power pole by disguising them as my irrigation system or to be more accurate disguising the irrigation risers as power poles.  I used the 4mm risers for my sprayers as the poles and glued cross arms made of strip wood with a round groove in one side to increase the gluing area then "twitched" a thin piece of copper wire to add strength to the joint (when painted black the wire was virtually invisible).   This worked well for a few months till the lady of the house's feline decided to mark his territory by rubbing up to the cross-arms and snapping them off (moral of story do not get a cat).  The wires were strung and secured with brass dressmaking pins with a glass beads threaded over them and sealed with an poly urethane electronic conformal coating, they carried 5V to run some LEDs.

      Without the cat's intervention I think they would still be functional today 5 years later.

      Graeme, some good ideas, do you have pictures (pre-feline), particularly of the crossarm setup? Thanks!

       

    • April 2, 2019 3:47 PM EDT
      • Bomaderry, NSW Australia
         
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      David Palmeter said:
      Graeme Price said:
      David Palmeter said:

      Another question for Forrest, Noel or anyone who has built G Scale power poles:

      How do you attach the cross bars to the poles to keep them from popping off if you bump the wires? There isn't much glue surface and pins or tiny brads would seem to be fragile. Use both?

      I hid my power pole by disguising them as my irrigation system or to be more accurate disguising the irrigation risers as power poles.  I used the 4mm risers for my sprayers as the poles and glued cross arms made of strip wood with a round groove in one side to increase the gluing area then "twitched" a thin piece of copper wire to add strength to the joint (when painted black the wire was virtually invisible).   This worked well for a few months till the lady of the house's feline decided to mark his territory by rubbing up to the cross-arms and snapping them off (moral of story do not get a cat).  The wires were strung and secured with brass dressmaking pins with a glass beads threaded over them and sealed with an poly urethane electronic conformal coating, they carried 5V to run some LEDs.

      Without the cat's intervention I think they would still be functional today 5 years later.

      Graeme, some good ideas, do you have pictures (pre-feline), particularly of the crossarm setup? Thanks!

       

      Unfortunately no I do not.  The railway is no longer in existence, it is in pieces in my shed at my new house waiting to be resurrected in a new form.

       

    • April 3, 2019 2:14 PM EDT
      • Santa Ana, CA
         
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      This would be a simple task to cut them out of 3/8" acrylic on the laser and include the hole(s) for the crossbar(s) and guidewires, if desired.    The crossbar would then include holes for the wire/fixtures.  Then 1.5 or 2mm screws/nuts can be used to hold it together.  (Cheap on the bay from China is any kind of quantities.)  I'm building an entire trestle this way.  The two pieces of acrylic can also be cut to "interlock" like Lincoln Logs requiring a shorter screw.

       

      Tell you what...,

      You tell me what you want (give me a preliminary design), I'll put it into CAD, and cut them from ~3/8" smoked acrylic for $1/each plus shipping.  But you need to think in 2D.  For example, the top of the pole can come to a point/curve in 2D and will be flat in the third dimension.  Also, the pieces can interlock, but any holes also need to be along that side requiring one pass of the laser without lifting the pieces from the tray.  (I think you get the idea.)

       

      You can get the screws/nuts/bolts in stainless steel cheap on the bay from China.  For two pieces of acrylic, get 25mm long and if three pieces get 35mm long bolts/screws.

       

      This post was edited by Todd Brody at April 3, 2019 2:36 PM EDT
    • April 4, 2019 7:32 AM EDT
      • Noblesville, Indiana
         
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      Todd Brody said:

      This would be a simple task to cut them out of 3/8" acrylic on the laser and include the hole(s) for the crossbar(s) and guidewires, if desired.    The crossbar would then include holes for the wire/fixtures.  Then 1.5 or 2mm screws/nuts can be used to hold it together.  (Cheap on the bay from China is any kind of quantities.)  I'm building an entire trestle this way.  The two pieces of acrylic can also be cut to "interlock" like Lincoln Logs requiring a shorter screw.

      Tell you what...,

      You tell me what you want (give me a preliminary design), I'll put it into CAD, and cut them from ~3/8" smoked acrylic for $1/each plus shipping.  But you need to think in 2D.  For example, the top of the pole can come to a point/curve in 2D and will be flat in the third dimension.  Also, the pieces can interlock, but any holes also need to be along that side requiring one pass of the laser without lifting the pieces from the tray.  (I think you get the idea.)

      You can get the screws/nuts/bolts in stainless steel cheap on the bay from China.  For two pieces of acrylic, get 25mm long and if three pieces get 35mm long bolts/screws.

      Thanks for the offer, Todd. I like the look of all wood but if that test doesn't work, I'll get back to you, acrylic and stainless should be very sturdy.

       

    • April 17, 2019 3:15 PM EDT
      • Denver, Colorado
         
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         I don't know if this would be of any use or interest here, but I found this article from 1993 while sorting through some of my old notebook binders:

       

         

       

         

       

       

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    • April 17, 2019 4:40 PM EDT
      • Shut Up Rooster
         
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      I applaud the work the guy did, but the wires do not look realistic in the first picture, they are too thick and defying gravity and have anti-gravity kinks.

       

      You can get the sag by lightly pressing on the wires back and forth after strung with a fair-diameter dowel. Too small in diameter will make visible kinks and will stretch the wire too much (force per unit area).

       

      Done right it's great, but we will see the amount of effort required!

       

      Greg

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    • April 18, 2019 10:47 PM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      I too am in the planning and even some construction of a 1:24ish Vic inspired large micro layout. Unlike Vics pizzas which are the inspiration, mine will be in a 20 X 10 room. When I saw this thread I got excited then Greg ruined it. I think I will stick with under the bench 12v bus wires. But great post and a neat idea.

       

      Somehow I missed the whole second page. I like Noel's idea to fix Greg's foreseen problem of scale wire not carrying enough juice to be of much use. Using a 14/2 bus wire under the bench to sections that are then over head wired with the telephone wire seems very doable as Noel has proven. Since I am using LED they don't draw a lot so this may very well work out nce.

      This post was edited by Devon Sinsley at April 18, 2019 10:55 PM EDT
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    • April 19, 2019 2:07 AM EDT
      • Shut Up Rooster
         
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      use 48 volts on the poles, then you can use finer gauge wires... put $2 DC to DC inverters in the transformer housings, bringing the voltage down to about 3.5 volts and drive the leds directly.

       

      doable...

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

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